_The Hobbit_ to start filming in July

The BBC reports that The Hobbit -- "prequel" to The Lord of the Rings -- start filming in July. Guillermo del Toro will direct, Peter Jackson will produce, and Sir Ian McKellen reprises his Lord of the Rings role as Gandalf the Grey.

There's also a planned sequel, not based on a Tolkien novel, that will cover the period between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Expect these films when you see them.

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